Is Writing About What You Don’t Know Called Bullshitting?

I will soon find out! Next month I start two freelance projects that I’ve taken on: restaurant reviewing for a website and a nightlife column for a local publication. Aside from loving food and dance music, I don’t know much about these two things.

All the writing advice in the world says, “Be a specialist, not a generalist.” I’m convincing myself that restaurants and nightlife are both under the umbrella of “culture,” and thus not so far off from a book review or some piece I might write on women in Vincent Gallo films when his next comes out. As it’s unclear what I should do about being a natural generalist, I’m artificially broadening the playing field. There’s not much space out there in the world for someone to wax bitterly about America’s disrespect for curly hair, so I have to make do.

Books. Film. Curly hair. And we can’t forget how much I enjoy applying Augustine or Marxist theory to everyday life. It’s just fine for someone like me to write about restaurants and nightlife… Throw it on the pile!

I’m going to keep telling myself what I told my incredulous friend Kerry, and that’s that if I can write a full eight lines describing a Mickey Mouse Head Pancake Shaper in adjective-laced glory (which I did for a copywriting gig), I can assess any situation. Writing is eloquently putting words together to communicate whatever it is that needs to be said, and only when that fails, also knowing how to bullshit.


4 Responses to “Is Writing About What You Don’t Know Called Bullshitting?”

  1. 1 compulsivewriter May 23, 2008 at 7:01 am

    i totally agree… and there’s always a first time! if you dont enjoy it, let there never be a second time 🙂
    hope to read more from you. enjoy your writing style

  2. 2 aliciadk May 23, 2008 at 10:41 am

    Thanks very much. The good thing about writing is that you can do it about anything, so trying stuff out causes no harm.

    Being as you’re “compulsive” and I’m “pathological,” I’d say you should stick around. 😉

  3. 3 wess May 23, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    These will be restaurant reviews for the ages! Especially if you work in Augustine and Marx, and maybe a little SZ?

  4. 4 aliciadk May 24, 2008 at 9:58 am

    HMM, I foresee a Zizekian potato being consumed near the end of my contract…

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